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Trends Cogn Sci. 2010 Sep;14(9):425-32. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Causal inference in perception.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.


Until recently, the question of how the brain performs causal inference has been studied primarily in the context of cognitive reasoning. However, this problem is at least equally crucial in perceptual processing. At any given moment, the perceptual system receives multiple sensory signals within and across modalities and, for example, has to determine the source of each of these signals. Recently, a growing number of studies from various fields of cognitive science have started to address this question and have converged to very similar computational models. Therefore, it seems that a common computational strategy, which is highly consistent with a normative model of causal inference, is exploited by the perceptual system in a variety of domains.

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